Indignant you reply “Why I wrote all day long, I’m a writer, after all!”
Okay. That’s good. I’m just checking. But I know someone out there is doing what I just did about five minutes ago.
Things have been slow, and I couldn’t figure out why. I write for a really wide range of places, from Constant Content to Yahoo! Voices, I’m working on Kindle articles and books, I query and query, I work on my own manuscripts for various outlets. So why is it slow? I should be busy! I should be eating more than Ramen Noodles at the very least, right?
But then the question came up in my mind. How much have I written? And other than my blogs, in the last week…not much. Now I’m working, mind you. I’m reading and reading and planning and analyzing and…planning and…writing down ideas (I have lots and lots of those). I’m planning who to query next, what to write about next, how many articles a day I want to churn out, where I want to send that book that’s still an idea but I know I’ll get working on.
I think this is probably true for newer freelancers more than anyone else, but I suspect this habit creeps up in the seasoned professional’s life, as well.
It’s the paralysis of analysis. That’s a sales term, mainly, at least it was when I was in sales, but I see it applies to any job. Including writing.
I should be writing all day long. Or at least working on something that will be submitted. But what I find I’ve done is plan.
Why, I have more plans than I could ever need. I know exactly who to query tomorrow, exactly what articles to write tomorrow, exactly where to pitch them tomorrow, but tomorrow rolls around in the night and becomes today and then here I am planning for tomorrow.
So what is it? What makes us stall? Why have I spent more time today reading about the subjects I want to write about instead of pulling a page out of Nike’s book and just doing it?
I have a theory on that, and it will be the subject of my post…tomorrow. 🙂 No, but really. It will be.
Have any of you stumbled into this habit? Have you had a moment where you realized you aren’t really writing at all but have spent time just being busy?